Serious questions are arising in Malta’s institutions after a child under a care order was allegedly able to be taken out of Malta without a passport.
Under the conditions of the care order, the birth mother was able to visit the young girl every weekend. Two weeks ago, she didn’t return to her foster home and authorities were immediately notified.
Lovin Malta reached out to the police, but it has refused to confirm the incident or whether an investigation is underway, citing GDPR issues.
This newsroom has also reached out to the Family Ministry asking how a child under the protection of the state managed to leave the country without identification but has not provided any comment.
In a care order, a child under 16 is removed from the family environment and placed into the care and custody of welfare services. It is issued to protect the child from the environment since this is deemed to be detrimental to his or her health or upbringing.
The child would be admitted under the care of the Family Ministry and is placed in a public home. The state would have to care for the child as an ordinary parent or guardian.
People entering and leaving Malta with falsified passports is a major issue for the islands.
Figures of people attempting to enter and leave Malta with forged or improper documents in Malta have tripled in the last year and continue to balloon in 2020, amid fresh concerns that a criminal ring could be partially to blame.
In fact, around 159 people were caught with forged passports and other identification documents in 2019, a significant jump from just 62 that were arraigned in court in 2018.
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